Niger Africas second largest uranium producer should see great growth

first_imgNiger, which became independent from France in 1960 and has a democratic government, is the world’s sixth largest uranium producer. Output in 2008 was 3,032 t, representing 7% of total world uranium production. Areva’s Arlette and Akoula mines, responsible for 100% of Niger’s uranium production, have produced, together, 100,000 t of output in the last 40 years. Uranium mining accounts for 72% of Niger’s exports. Areva’s Imouran project will almost double the country’s uranium output to 5,000 t/y U3O8.All this is included in a special report by Uraniumletter International ( Producing mines and deposits in Niger typically grade from 0.1% to 0.42% U3O8, with the higher grades being mined at greater depths.Niger, which has a well established mining infrastructure, offers a strong government support for expanding mining. In 2006, Niger created a Mining Code to encourage foreign investment. Under the Mining Code 185 exploration licences were granted.Cameco, the world’s largest uranium producer, formed a Strategic Alliance with non-listed GoviEx inAugust 2008, whereby Cameco purchased approximately 11% of GoviEx for $ 28 million. GoviEx’s properties Madaouela and Anou Nelle are located approximately 10 km from Areva’s high-grade Arlette and Akoula mines.Uranium was discovered at Azelik in Niger in 1957 by the French Bureau de Recherches Geologiques et Miniers (BRGM), looking for copper. The French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) initiated further studies. Further discoveries in sandstone followed including at Abokurum (1959), Madaouela (1963), Arlette, Ariege, Artois & Tassa/Taza (1965), Imouraren (1966) and Akouta (1967).Other publicly listed uranium exploration companies active in Niger currently include Niger Uranium, NGM Resources, NWT Uranium, North Atlantic Resources and Global Uranium.last_img

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